The United States military has blocked its personnel from accessing popular websites such as YouTube and ESPN in an effort to bolster the recovery efforts in Japan.
The Department of Defense announced on March 14 that 13 websites have been temporarily blocked because they take up a significant amount of bandwidth. According to CNN, Strategic Command spokesman Rodney Ellison said the suspended sites, which also include Amazon, eBay and MTV, were selected due to their popularity among users of military computers.
"We are doing this to facilitate the recovery efforts under way in Japan," said Ellison, quoted by the media outlet. "We are trying to make sure we are giving them as many avenues and as much support as we can."
Pentagon employees who attempt to access these sites are greeted with a bright, red message that reads "Website Blocked."
Col. Daniel King, deputy public affairs director of U.S. Pacific Command, told the National Journal that military personnel have not been blocked from using social networking websites because they are important lines of communication between families. Officials said that restricting access to high-volume sites is a routine precaution in the event of natural disasters or international emergencies.